Startup Rulebook: Does your Small Business Have Standards?

If you find that your small business operates with absolutely no standards – guidelines that outline a certain level of quality – it’s time to get some.

How Standards Impact Rules of Engagement

Intuitively we all know that standards are important.

Standards not only tell people (customers, suppliers, etc.) how to treat you but they also exemplify what you expect from others in business.

Before entering into any type of business, joint venture, partnership or project you’ll find that someone will ask (if they’re on top of things), “What’s the scope of work (SOW)?

This simply means – what should we expect?

Inevitably if you operate a business without standards, without expectation, then others will not know what to expect from you either and rules of engagement are left undefined. Hence, without a mission, vision and values you lack the basic foundation for ethical operations.

Once you develop standards, people will know how to engage with you.

If by chance, you think rules of engagement are unnecessary or frivolous think of this – every team sport defines rules of engagement. If you break these predefined rules you’re often disqualified.

In boxing you’re generally prohibited from hitting below the belt. In competitive swimming there are technical rules that must be followed. And the NFL Rulebook sets the standards of conduct for players, penalty enforcement and game play. Entrepreneurship is also a team sport. Thus operating without rules of engagement (and standards) is detrimental to your team and your organization.

Ultimately, as you pursue a higher standard of business, not only will you be more equipped to delineate circumstances and limitations, but you’ll empower your entire team to reach achieve their objectives successfully.

Your customers will thank you for it.

Connect with Erica Nicole on Twitter.

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